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10/23/03 - THE U-N AND IRAQ - 2003-10-23

The United States has led a coalition of more than thirty countries to liberate Iraq. Saddam Hussein is gone and he will not be coming back. There will be no more mass graves filled with Saddam’s victims. Iraq’s infrastructure is being restored. Hospitals are being repaired. Schools have reopened.

The goal now, says President George W. Bush, “is to leave behind a stable, self-governing society”:

“Iraq now has a governing council, which appointed interim government ministers. Once a constitution has been written, Iraq will move toward national elections. We want the process to go as quickly as possible, yet it must be done right. The free institutions of Iraq must stand the test of time.”

This month, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution fifteen-eleven. This resolution assists countries who want to provide troops by giving a broader U-N mandate for those troops and putting them under a multinational force designation. The resolution also recognizes the obligations and responsibilities of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and invites the Iraqi governing council to develop a plan for the transition back to full Iraqi sovereignty.

As President Bush puts it, the U-N resolution “will help marshal even more international support for the development of a new, democratic Iraq”:

“I want to thank the United Nations Security Council for unanimously passing a resolution supporting our efforts to build a peaceful and free Iraq. A democratic Iraq will stand as an example to all the Middle East. We believe, and the Iraqi people will show, that liberty is the hope and the right of every land. Our work in Iraq has been long, and it’s hard. It is not finished.”

Iraq is now the central front in the global war against terrorism. Saddam holdouts and foreign terrorists may try to undermine Iraq’s progress. But, says President Bush, “Our work in Iraq is essential. . . . And no band of murderers and gangsters will stop that work.”